If you're designing a new kitchen, you may well be planning a utility room at the same time. It's more than likely that your new utility, while giving you tons of added value, might not be as big as you'd like and it might even have a dual purpose, perhaps doubling up as a boot room, too. So how to get it right? Other than reading our planning guide, we'd suggest trawling the internet for as many clever utility design ideas as you can... starting right here.
1. Invest in clever tricks, hidden behind closed doors
If your utility room is narrower than you'd like, if it's clearly visible from the kitchen or hallway, or if you have to pass through it to get to the garden, order is key. Dividing your space with clearly defined zones will help it look neater and feel more organised.
A row of tall units or large cupboards are a good option for narrow spaces providing storage for all your washing needs, plus you can hide everything away behind closed doors.
This design from Burlanes includes a handy pull-out shelf for a clothes airer, a washer and dryer stacked one on the other to save space and a wet area. Clever.
Find more must-have kitchen storage ideas in our guide.
2. Fit out every inch of a narrow space
While we'd advise against this in a galley kitchen, in a narrow utility room function trumps form, so built-in floor-to-ceiling storage on both sides that helps you maximise the space you have is a worthwhile investment. A combination of open shelving and cupboards with door fronts will allow you to keep what you use all the time to hand, and clutter you're hoarding hidden away.
Utility room design by Schüller.
3. Make wall space to dry clothes
Short on floor space? A wall mounted-airer that folds away when not in use is a practical option for drying clothes. Hang above a radiator to speed up the drying process, or above a sink or draining board so your clothes can drip dry.
Utility room design by Burlanes.
Find more clever clothes storage ideas in our guide.
4. Build in a washing basket on wheels
Even if you’ve got a laundry basket elsewhere in the house, it’s a good idea to have another one in the utility room. A basket on wheels, which can be tucked under the work surface when not in use, will help keep floor space clear and the room neat-looking.
Design by Beau-Port Kitchens.
5. Make space for a wine cellar (you know it makes sense)
If you like to have a glass of wine when you’re doing your ironing (just the one, health and safety and all that), then you’re going to love this. A spiral wine cellar is an entirely natural cellar that can be installed under any ground floor room and doesn’t require an existing cellar or basement.
Built from engineered concrete, a Spiral Cellar can either be fitted cleanly into a finished room, or form part of a new house build, extension or refurbishment project.
Is now a good time to mention our round up of the best wine fridges?
6. Make your utility room part of your kitchen design
Utility rooms can often be dark and windowless, which is why we love this glass walled design by Masterclass Kitchens. The decorative glass means it isn’t completely closed off from the kitchen and dining area, and allows natural light to flood the room. Plus, we think it looks great.
Copy this idea and you'll want to invest in the best quiet washing machine, too.
7. Think ergonomics when you design your utility room
Schüller's clever utility room design allows you to save yourself from backache by raising the washing machine and tumble dryer to mid height, as well as fitting a sliding shelf underneath (for your laundry basket), eliminating the need to bend over to load and unload. Genius.
8. Plan utility room storage carefully
Mix and match your storage options to create a space that works for you. Anything you regularly need should be within easy reach and incidentals placed on a high shelf or out-of-the-way spot. If you’re planning to have a sink in your utility room, it’s a good idea to place it near the washing machine so that you can transfer anything left to soak without water dripping over the floor.
Utility room design by Schüller.
9. Combine your utility room with a boot room
Utility rooms aren't just for washing and ironing clothes. If you don’t have space in your hallway, or simply don’t want the entrance to your home filled with coats, fit some hooks in your utility room to keep them out of the way in a combined utility/boot room space.
Got a dog? If there's room, a gigantic sink to shower them off in saves hosing down the pooch in the garden on a wet winter's day... or up in your sparkling clean bathroom.
Utility room by Lewis Alderson.
10. Don't just design the space, design for life
Another clever idea from Schüller is this laundry sorting unit. Through the open slots in the door, dirty washing can be passed through and sorted (whether by washing temperature or colour) into laundry baskets that can be taken out easily. Get the whole family to commit to the idea and you've cracked it.
Find more clever laundry storage design ideas in our guide.